Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Cleaning up America's Image by Putting Generational Qualms Aside."

ABRAHAM: "Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?" 
SAMPSON: "I do bite my thumb sir."
ABRAHAM: "Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?" 
...SAMPSON: "No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb sir."
-Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (Act 1: sn 1.)

When it comes to generation gaps: there seems to be a lot of mudslinging between the generations: Millennials, frustrated with the Great Recession and bemoaning paying taxes to support the Baby Boomers, while knowing that Social Security will run out before we ever come of age. Baby Boomers chastising Generation X for raising a lazy, overindulged, arrogant and "indoor" Generation Z. Generation Z badmouthing all of the older generations, in unsophisticated text-slang, as they absorb, consume and radiate social media. 

The epigraph from Act 1, scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet (first published in 1597) merely serves to point out the pettiness and childishness of such finger pointing. What is notable and important to sort through is the general sense of frustration amongst everyone, of every age. Who is content? Who is happy? How do they achieve this state of mind in today's Great Recession? That is the subject of today's rant.

Here is my list of "Happiness Essentials" of what I think most people need to be happy and content:
1. Food, water, air, sleep. 
2. Shelter.
3. Social needs (belonging, love, affection).
4. Esteem Needs (personal worth, accomplishment)
5. Self-Actualization (self-aware, goal oriented, potential.)

...Oh wait, no, this is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maybe it's a first world problem that we're even discussing 4 & 5 at all... which makes me immediately ashamed of today's blog entry as I deviate away from my usual 'global issues' topics. Before I publish, I'd like to take a moment to create a new, abbreviated list, of what would make anyone happy and content.

1. Food, water, shelter.
2. Family, friends, social clubs, health insurance.
3. Free technological access: this would provide everyone with a chance to learn, improve, and grow.
4. Respect, manners, etiquette. (Regardless of age.)
5. Time to pursue career, family and passions.

My goal? To work on spreading at least #4 as far as I can...the others will follow.